Staying safe

Our network is managed by volunteer adults involved in Scouting and Guiding around the world. These network staff are known as “operators”, and they help other users and ensure that rules are being followed. The instructions of operators need to be followed to keep users safe. If you have an issue with another user, please contact an operator, or speak to your Coordinator.

Breaking our rules will lead to a range of actions by operators, including potentially banning you from a channel or from the entire network. If you are part of a group connecting from a scout hut, library or other public place, this could result in a large number of people being affected because of the actions of one misbehaving user.

Please note that young people should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times when using any chat services online.

Our safeguarding policy

The safety of all users is an important aspect of ScoutLink. We have an active volunteer team of operators who monitor the network. Every operator is trained to ensure that they are confident in carrying out their role, and have further support available within ScoutLink if they need it.

Our rules have been created to ensure that we make everybody’s experience on ScoutLink as safe as possible, without compromising the reasons that people come here – to chat to Scouts & Guides worldwide and to make new friends. Our rules are stricter than users may be used to from other networks and social media sites, because of the high proportion of young people on our network.

We treat all reports of rule-breaking seriously. Where necessary, we are committed to working with law enforcement and National Scouting Organisations (NSOs) to ensure the safety of our users.

Users who have questions relating to our rules or Safeguarding policy should direct their questions to

Need help?

If you have an issue with another user, there are several things you should do. Firstly, ensure you take a screenshot, or copy and paste details of what has happened into a notepad. It’s very useful for operators to be able to see exactly what has happened. You can then get help in the following ways:

  • Asking in public for an operator. If one is around, they’ll say hello and ask how they can help. Operators can prove their identity by ‘opping up’ which means a symbol will appear in front of their name in the nickname list, to show they are an operator.
  • Joining #help. This is a special channel which has staff available at most times of the day to help you.
  • Emailing stating your nickname, the issue, and copying/pasting any relevant text, for instance what an abusive user said, or an error message that you received. This is slower than the two methods above but means you are guaranteed a response.

How to help yourself

Sometimes it is not possible to get help from an operator immediately. However, there are still ways to protect yourself if you are unhappy with a user’s behaviour.

Restricting private messages.

This command will prevent users that are not registered from contacting you in private. However, it may prevent genuine users from contacting you privately too, as many users choose not to register. Therefore, we suggest you only use it with very young children, or if you are getting a lot of unwanted messages. This command does not prevent unregistered users from sending messages in the main channels.

 /mode mynickname +R

Replace ‘mynickname’ with your username on ScoutLink. Make sure you use a capital R not a small r.

The Ignore command

If a particular user is being rude or annoying, a good solution is the ignore command. This prevents you from seeing any messages from that user, either in channel or in private. This is much more selective and good to teach to children so they can block unfriendly users. The command is:

 /ignore nickname

Replace ‘nickname’ with the exact name of the user you are trying to ignore.

If someone continues to try to contact you when you have used these commands, and their behaviour is offensive, please log off the network and email our Help team with the details.

If you are a young person using our chat, you should always speak to your parents or scout leaders (or whoever is supervising you) if you feel unhappy or uncomfortable with any behaviour on our chat rooms. As mentioned above, it is important to get screen shots or logs of any behaviour you are unhappy with, so that this can be passed to our operators.